Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Breath of the Wild’s Lost Arbiter Grounds Could Reveal BotW2’s Setting


The Arbiter Grounds holds significance in Legend of Zelda lore and its presence in Breath of the Wild could be a clue of what to expect in BotW 2.

With news of the Breath of the Wild sequel being in production, there are many theories surrounding what the upcoming game will entail. Breath of the Wild 2‘s teaser trailer has stirred up a lot of speculation, especially regarding the setting Link and Zelda are seen exploring. The answer to everyone’s questions may in fact be lying deep under the sands of the Gerudo Desert.

In Breath of the Wild, the Gerudo Desert is a vast wasteland located towards the southwestern parts of Hyrule’s map. There is not much to see beyond the occasional Lizalfos and the four behemoth Moldunga which swim under the surface of the sands. However, towards the southern most part of the Gerudo Desert lie the ruins of the Arbiter Grounds. Only a few columns and pillars poke out above the sand while the rest of the structure is completely buried. As far as we know, the hidden remainder of the ruins might still be intact, and in turn, able to be explored.

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Related: How Breath of the Wild 2 Could Improve On The First Game

The Arbiter Grounds was originally seen in Twilight Princess. In the game, the Grounds act as the fourth dungeon players will be encountering. Lore stipulates this area originally acted as a prison to house some of Hyrule’s most dangerous criminals as they awaited trial. Ganon was originally one of those criminals. He was eventually sentenced to be executed for his crimes, but was able to survive and in turn was banished to the Twilight Realm. Given that Nintendo has placed Breath of the Wild at the end of the Legend of Zelda timelines, it’s possible that the Arbiter Grounds in BotW might be the same or some version of those seen in Twilight Princess. This could open up the possibility that Ganon has once again been imprisoned in the Arbiter Grounds.

The Arbiter Grounds Could Return In Breath of the Wild 2

Breath of the Wild

Many fans have come to determine that the mummy-esque figure seen in the BotW 2 trailer is likely Ganon. Should this trail of thought be followed, Ganon may have been captured after his defeat as Calamity Ganon and has in turn been shackled. Some theories suggest that the titular villain Zant may be returning to BotW 2, who may have some connection in the Demon King’s capture or possibly his release. Since the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer holds many resemblances to Twilight Princess‘ dark overtones, this possibility may not so far-fetched, especially given the theory that BotW is a convergent point between all the timelines.

The sequel’s development team have heavily hinted at the return of classic dungeon-style exploration. This further opens up the possibility that the Arbiter Grounds, which acted as a dungeon in its original inception, could be a primary location in Breath of the Wild 2. Given that the sequel will still be taking place in the same Hyrule (though with a few new additions) the Grounds will still be relevant, as the Gerudo Desert will likely remain. The Breath of the Wild 2 trailer also shows the presence of Gerudo writing on the walls of the caverns Link and Zelda are exploring, which solidifies the possibility that the Arbiter Grounds could be a dungeon in the upcoming title.

It’s still too early to know what Breath of the Wild 2 will actually hold. While the sequel’s trailer hints at the fact that Link and Zelda are located somewhere in the Gerudo Desert, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in the Arbiter Grounds specifically. The Arbiter Grounds in Twilight Princess and Breath of the Wild could also be two separate locations which carry the same name. As more information slowly comes to the surface, fans will see how much significance the Arbiter Grounds will hold in the upcoming sequel.

Next: Breath of the Wild Theory: What’s Beyond Hyrule’s Map?

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Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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